4 min read

Are things actually saving me?

I ran 15 km because I wanted to despite my brain saying I couldn't. Maybe I can do something with my life.
A large tree in Port Sunlight glows in the evening sun.

hello camera

This week’s photo are from a walk around Port Sunlight, a model village with strict rules about how maintain your house. Beautiful village.

You can get prints of the photos in this weeks newsletter on my print store or you can tip me on Ko-Fi so I can buy film for my camera.


Trees hibernating on top of little round stone platforms.

Are things actually saving me?

I can’t do this.

I can’t do this.

I can’t do this.

I’m doing it?

I’m doing it!

What can I really do?

woosh

That was my brain the other day when I went for a run. I ran 15km simply because I wanted to. I haven’t ran that far in about 5 years. I haven’t ran more than 5km in about 2 years and I only really got back into running at the start of the year after a 2 year break due to plantar fasciitis (horrific foot pain). How did I just do 15km? It was nice out and I wanted to run.

Ok that’s a bit lifestyle magazine vomit inducing “Just do it! Run. It saved my life.” nonsense that I dislike. There were two reasons why I wanted to run.

  1. It was nice out and I genuinely wanted to do a 10km run to prove to myself that I still can after my 2 year break.
  2. I wanted to feel the pain of long distance running. I wanted to hurt as a reminder to myself that even in pain I can still do things.

I put on my red lipstick, running gear and I run. The first 10 minutes are the worst. My brain says no. It tells me to stop. I feel exhausted after 2 minutes and maybe I should stop but I don’t.

I run.

Eventually my brain is ok with the new reality of running not walking and I settle in for a run. 15 km later and I feel good. Free from depression? No. Cured? No. Reminded that I can do things? Yes.

The last few days I’ve been thinking about running. I ran this morning and again “I can’t do this. I can’t. I can? Hey I’m running!” Every time. I’m reminded of when I first started running and doing a 30 second burst felt like it was taking years off my life. I believed I would never be able to run for 1 minute let alone 5 minutes. 2 years later and I ran a marathon in 5hrs 35 minutes. How did I go from 30 seconds to 5hrs 35 minutes? I didn’t know that I could not do it and I didn’t hate it so I kept improving. The thought of whether I was any good or not didn’t enter into it. I simply wanted to see if I could. So I did. Every time my brain told me to stop but 10 minutes in and I was ok and I was running.

Over the past few years of doing Hello Computer I’ve been writing about how activities haven’t “saved me” like they have others. Have I been thinking about them in the wrong way? "I went for a run but was still depressed. It hasn't saved me.” Is that like saying a drank 8 glasses of water and it never saved me? You may find a glass of water at the right time is refreshing. Having your 8 glasses of water a day might seem pointless but it’s probably having an effect on you you can’t see. Maybe these activities are too? Maybe sometimes going for a run at the right time will be great but most times it’ll be every day running. Maybe they won’t fix me every time but that doesn’t mean I should listen to that voice in my head telling me that I’m worthless and shouldn’t exist. Maybe it helps a little. Maybe it helps chip away at a larger problem and I’ll never know the effect. When my brain tells me it’s pointless and it hasn’t saved me I need to respond with “So?”

Today I am less worse. The depression that robbed me of my life is still there. It’s a little less overpowering. A single 15 km run didn’t remove it. Another 15 km won’t remove it. Maybe they will help make it more manageable? If I can just get my daily life into that post-10 minutes place where I’m living not hating my existence then maybe I can believe I can do anything and actually do something. I did this, right?


A 2 storey house with a neatly mowed lawn. There are some leaves on the lawn. It is autumn.


hello world


A 2 storey house painted white with a large collection of plants around the ground floor window.


helloooo nurse

Toxic positivity affirmations are bad, and so is this.

Believe you can and you're halfway there. Woah oh you’re half way there. Woah oh believing on a prayer.

A large tree backlit against the evening sun.